Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation should be inspiration for single parents. Many people are quick to presume that children who are raised in a single parent household have less chance for success than kids who live in a two-parent family. As with any demographic group, there are instances of both, naturally. Most important, though, there are factors other than number of parents affecting both success and failure. People don’t seem to realize this.
Judge Sotomayor’s father died when she was nine, leaving her mother to raise her and her younger brother, who, by the way, is a physician and university professor. Mrs. Sotomayor bought a set of Encloypedia Britannicas for their apartment in a Bronx housing project. Circumstances, good and bad, exist; I believe it is how you manage them that determines your outcome. The child who lives in a mansion but must mow the grass. The child who learns value watching a mother work three jobs. All good.
I do not define myself as a single mother. And my kids are not “children of divorce.” I am a mother. They are kids. We are a family with a story. The people next door have one, too. My girls have the same drive, goals, expectations from me that they would have had had their father been around. They don’t have the fancy knapsack, but they wouldn’t have had it, anyway.
Here are a few others who probably didn’t have the knapsack, and seemed to have turned out pretty well without it: Bill Cosby, Ed Bradley, Alicia Keys, Audrey Hepburn, Mariah Carey, Michael Phelps, Bill Clinton, Lady Bird Johnson (who was raised by her aunt), Alexander Haig Jr., and oh yeah, Barack Obama.
Congratulations Judge Sotomayor. Go get ’em.